Category Archives: blab

niki rambles on & on

love them

my little family and i recently went downtown to check out the martin luther king, jr. national memorial. yes, we live in the dc area and it took us this daggone long to drive about 20 minutes away to see it.

wack, i know.

anyway, it was a beautiful day, dutch had his skateboard, my husband had his usual silliness poppin’ and a good time was had by all.

dc's west potomac park
dc’s west potomac park
dc's west potomac park
dc’s west potomac park
mlk memorial dc
mlk memorial dc
mlk memorial dc
mlk memorial dc
martin luther king, jr. national memorial in dc
martin luther king, jr. national memorial in dc

after avoiding accidents with dutch and his skateboard vs. various downtown visitors we strolled through the franklin d. roosevelt memorial.


me and the husband
me and the husband
franklin d. roosevelt memorial in dc
franklin d. roosevelt memorial in dc
my little family
my little family
west potomac park dc
west potomac park dc


ready for nanowrimo!!

for the past few years i’ve noticed folks chatting on twitter about participating in nanowrimo (national novel writing month), and this year i’ve decided to jump into the madness of it all. yep, i plan on completing a 50,000 freakin’ word novel in a month.

*gasping* and holding my cheeks like that home alone kid.

and it starts…TODAY, y’all. to-day.

back when i first started this blog i did nablopomo where you had to post daily for the month of november and that was a challenge, so this here… woowee, i already know it’s gonna be a major pain in my pinky toe at times. but i know i can do it!!! after all, i’ve been saying for years that i want to write a book. and you know, i’m in between job situations so a sista ain’t got nothin’ but time.

and hello, it’s not like i’ve never tried this before. oh yeah, honey, i started a novel back in 2002. never finished it, but i got half-way through. it was a hot mess too. a half-done, piece of hotmessedness that i put time and effort into. i’ll even let you in on a little secret, i had the audacity to pass that thing along to an associate of mine at a publishing house in new york. she must’ve thought i was absolutely nuts. i cringed over my words a few months ago when i decided to go back and read it.


and i expect to cringe a little more through this new experience, but for totally different reasons. it’ll be more like a stressed-out-wanting-to-kick-myself-in-the-derriere-but-instead-i’m-too-busy-balling-myself-up-sucking-my-thumb-in-a-corner kinda cringe.

in fact, i expect to feel a lot like this guy, malik williams. i found his hilarious videos on vimeo where he talks about the insanity of participating in nanowrimo two years ago.

NaNoWriMo – Day 2 from Malik Williams on Vimeo.

malik, where are you?!! i’m dying to know who was at the door!! 🙂

the end approaches… from Malik Williams on Vimeo.

anyway, onward & forward!! come on, nanowrimo’ers, let’s get it!!

the hub’s kaijudo tackles bullying

october is anti-bullying month so on this last day of the month i figured, why not post about “kaijudo: rise of the duel masters“? this animated action-fantasy has a strong central anti-bullying message for kids ages 8 to 14.

kaijudo's ray
kaijudo’s ray

the show airs on the hub network saturdays at 2pm et/11am pt and centers around a character named ray (voiced by “party of five”‘s scott wolf) who summons creatures from other dimensions whenever he’s bullied.

i recently chatted with the show’s super cool head writers, andrew robinson and henry gilroy, to find out what they hope children will learn about dealing with bullies from watching the cartoon. after all, you don’t want your kid thinking it’s possible to call on super creatures if he/she’s being bullied, right?

the kids stand up for themselves
the kids stand up for themselves

henry jumped right in and explained, “the focus really isn’t so much on superpowers, but on friendship and your friends are obviously going to be your greatest allies against bullying because they don’t tolerate it. bullies usually pick on one kid and if somebody else speaks up, that bully stops. it’s really about problem solving.”

andrew added, “none of our human characters have super powers. they can be hurt and they are vulnerable, but there’s strength in numbers and there’s strength in friendships.

watch a clip from the cartoon and be sure to have your kids tune in for a little action adventure this saturday!

hair mask recipe & styling curly hair vids

don’t go thinking this about to turn into a natural hair blog. i promise you, it’s not. 🙂 but i am in the process of attempting to grow my hair out…again. i go through this every fall/winter, tire of it because it looks so wild & insane and then i chop it all off to get back to my happy place.

but this year i’m hoping to have more stick-to-it-ness and a sista needs tips!! so you might see a few more hair-related posts here from time-to-time. as i find good stuff, i’ll share!

i recently found this awesome video by andreaschoice on youtube on making your very own hair strengthening mask using coconut oil and eggs. it’s great for dry, damaged, over-processed hair. she’s super, uber popular on yt so if you’ve looked into these types of videos before, you might already know about her.

but anyhoooo, can i just saw this woman has absolutely gorgeous hair?

in this second video, andrea shows how she styles her curly hair. i chose andrea’s videos because her hair texture is close to mine (only mine is a wee bit curlier), but there are tons and tons of videos on youtube with hair maintenance techniques for all hair types.

use coconut oil for…everything!

last year i started using virgin coconut oil on my hair after reading about the benefits of it on a few natural hair blogs. i’d be lying if i said i remembered which blogs i read the info on because a lot of times i just virtually skate through a bunch of sites, but here are a few natural hair blogs that will give you enough good info to get you started:

what’s the best way to apply coconut oil at
magic in a jar? the many benefits of coconut oil at
what’s the best way to apply coconut oil to natural hair at

but using coconut oil for your hair is just the very beginning, people! there are tons of uses for this stuff from skincare to cooking to helping with ear infections and yeast infections to household uses. i mean, really? who knew? i surely didn’t!! but now i do and i’m sharing coconut use links with you.

122 uses for coconut oil at delicious obsessions
333 uses for coconut oil at hybrid rasta mama
how to use coconut oil on the face at livestrong
cooking with coconut oil at nytimes
more than 101 reasons to use coconut oil as a home remedy to improve your health naturally at natural news
can applying coconut oil reduce hair loss? at daily glow

go get you some!

reading is fundamental!

i visited the reading is fundamental website ( and found this really cool song/video produced by the roots featuring jack black, chris martin, john legend, jim james, jason schwartzman, nate ruess, melanie fiona, carrie brownstein, regina spektor and consequence. !

make the pledge to share the power of books for young minds today at book people unite.

celebrating my 40eve

birthday niki d.

today is my 39th birthday.

39?!?! me??

geez louise!! how the heck did that happen??

birthday niki d.

don’t get me wrong, i’m not complaining. it’s a blessing to see another year. another day, period! and i thank the Lord for it and for all that i have in my life.

self-portrait niki d.

hey, my milkshake still brings my baby boy to the yard after 8 years of marriage, we have two wonderful children, i have the most awesome parents on the planet, my family is filled with some pretty cool characters… really, i have no complaints.

self-portrait niki d.

life has ups & downs & twists & turns & mess that doesn’t go the way you expected it to and expected things that don’t turn out quite the way you wished, but there’s a lesson in it all…a definite take away. for every little disappointment i had in my 38th year, i count it all joy (james 1:2-4).

i choose joy and i plan to rock out my 39th year, which i’ve lovingly dubbed my 40eve.

birthday niki d.

so here’s to another year, a press of the restart button, a new beginning at a new age…full of possibilities.



here i stand: the worst mama on the planet


life is way beyond stressful right now. there’s constant job hunting and general frustration over that, my dear husband has (understandably) added home searching into the mix, opportunities have come up that need to be weighed…heavily. i have a million ideas of what i could be doing, but i’m in such a frazzled state that i can think of two million reasons why they won’t work.

bills keep coming in as sure as the sun rises, ankle biter football has become more of a stress point in my life than i would’ve ever imagined. who knew? maybe i’ll post on that later. and of course the regular ol’ day-to-day stuff that keeps my mind spinning.


so last thursday i treated the day like any other school day. got dutch up and ironed his clothes, made his lunch. walked the dog. dropped dutch off at school. you know, the regular routine stuff. it was only when i picked him up that i noticed the big, flashing notice on that electronic sign that sits in front of the school building that said:


wait. i thought to myself. is today wednesday or thursday? surely i did NOT forget freakin’ picture day!

i mean, really? who does that?

me obviously.

not only did i forget to make sure that my child looked extra snazzy that day for his second grade picture, but daggone it, the picture order form was right there on my dining table. blank. no enclosed check or nothing.

things like this usually get dutch all upset and bothered. he’s usually all, “mooooom!! you forgot?! how did you forget??” i mean, it’s not often that i forget the important stuff, but when i do (like the time i left his lunch on the counter and sent him off to school without it and he ended up having a bag of popcorn for lunch. *sigh*) he’s pretty good at giving me all kinds of guilt trips. and i take it ’cause he’s right.

so i walked over to him on the playground all worried that he’d be disappointed and started apologizing immediately. do they even let kids take a picture if they’re not paying for them? will his picture even be in the yearbook that dutch so looks forward to getting every year? i wasn’t sure. but dutch said that he did at least take the picture. whew! it wasn’t like he had to sit in the classroom alone while all of his classmates lined up with their shiny picture-taking outfits, waving good-bye to him like he was the broke kid whose parents couldn’t at least afford the $20 picture packet.

thank goodness.

and it’s not like picture day is a one shot deal either. even if they don’t have a make-up day, they do have personality picture day closer to the end of the school year so all is not lost.

but still.

how did i let this slip by? dutch, surprisingly, didn’t make much of a fuss about it although i’m sure he will once the pictures come in and he doesn’t have any. and i’m sure this sounds like not such a big deal to a lot of folks, but i typically pride myself on being on top of these sorta things.

it’s not that we NEED another picture. in fact, dutch just had football pictures taken recently and i’m constantly snappin’ new pics of dutch. it’s just the principle of it all. like, how in the world could i have forgotten about picture day? my mother would’ve never.

i think parents often feel pangs of guilt over stuff they shoulda woulda coulda done and this was definitely one of those moments for me. i know if i wasn’t feeling so stressed all the daggone time i would’ve remembered. forgetting picture day was a huge reminder that i need to slow down a bit. pay closer attention to things that matter. shut out some of the clutter and buzz-y crap that’s swimming around in my mind.

do better.

my make-believe shopping trip

since shopping isn’t in the budget right now i figured i would join in the craziness that is polyvore. why not, right? i’m really a comfy cozy kinda chick when it comes to my style of dress. i don’t like things that are too stuffy and though i can be, i’m not very overly ultra-girlie.

since my days over the past several years have been pretty chill for the most part, my little casual polyvore sets reflect what i’d throw together in my day-to-day goings ons. for starters, i live, live, live in my jeans!!! and denim jackets are an essential in my closet. i like clothes that are well made and that will last, and i’m not extreme in my trendiness. i don’t buy brands just because it’s the new thing poppin’ either. i buy what i like and what fits my budget. shooooot, and since i’ve been so inspired by mrs. mimi goodwin of late, i should actually use my fashion design degree and jump back on my sewing machine!

i just do me when it comes to clothes and isn’t that what style is all about?

simply cas 1

Madewell denim shirt / Chaser LA slim fit shirt, $120 / Low rise jeans / adidas lace up shoes / ASOS / Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses / Circle scarve, $46 / Beanie hat, $125
simply cas 2

3.1 Phillip Lim print sweater, $435 / Camo jacket / Dolce&Gabbana indigo jeans, $485 / ALDO hi top shoes / Deadly Ponies leather hobo bag, $515 / Stone jewelry / Linda Farrow Luxe acetate sunglasses
simply cas 3

Knit top, $30 / Top / J Brand jean jacket, $300 / Moschino / Converse / 3.1 Phillip Lim duffle bag / Valentino leather jewelry / Betsey Johnson

why i hate pumpkins but i’m still grateful

is it really pumpkin season again? like, already??!! it seems like only yesterday (or you know, at least last week) that me and dutch were hanging out at a local pumpkin joint picking out a big orange.

picking the perfect pumpkin

which okay, to the average person just means, ohhhhhh, it’s fall now. time to break out the autumn wardrobe complete with cute boots and buttery leather jackets and get ready to sip icky pumpkin lattes while prancing down the sidewalk over the brown leaves that have fallen ever so beautifully to the ground.

but for me, oh, it means something entirely different. in fact, it means that almost 365 days have gone by and daggone it, i’m still unemployed after being laid off last october.

ughhhh!! can you feel the frustration in my type written words? it’s there, trust me, look a little closer at your screen or re-read a sentence or something.

i’m in complete and utter shock over it. a year? really? and i have to admit that i literally went into a mini depression after seeing those stupid pumpkins painted with goofy faces at the grocery store yesterday. that just really set it off for me.

it was an awful, terrible reminder of the almost year that has slipped right on by while i’ve sent out countless resumes and gone on interviews with rude folks who couldn’t even contact me back to say they decided to go with someone else. and did i mention the countless resumes i’ve sent out?

yeah, that.

but sometimes you have to look at things with your grateful eye and push all those other feelings aside (you know, the anger of not getting responses to the countless resumes you’ve sent out) and see the blessings right there in front of you. you can’t sulk forever, right? a minute will do. or maybe a few days, but you gotta get over it at some point. so i’ve made up my mind to look at the brighter side of seeing those stupid stinky pumpkins for sale.

1) i’m blessed that i even woke up that day to see the pumpkins. helloooooooo!! definitely blessing numero uno.

2) i’m grateful for having a working vehicle to drive to the grocery store. i could walk there if i really needed to, but i’m far too lazy for alla that even though my body could use a good, brisk walk. but you get my drift. car, blessing #2.

3) i’m blessed to have gas in my car! now granted the grocery store is all of two minutes (by car) from where i live and it doesn’t take much gas to get there, the point is, i had enough gas to get there. and i didn’t even have to beg for money at the pump.

4) speaking of money, i’m grateful for even having it to spend at the grocery store. i mean, it ain’t much, but i had enough to get what i needed, right? uh huh, right.

5) i’m blessed to have working legs to walk through the parking lot and right by those dumb pumpkins that were sitting out in front of the store.

6) i’m blessed to have been able to even see the daggone pumpkins, even if it was through eyeglass lenses that always seem to easily get too smudgey for my liking.

7) speaking of those lenses, i’m blessed to have gotten them for FREE through go get you some, but know that you do have to pay for shipping.

8) i’m blessed to have had the money to pay for shipping so i could get my FREE glasses from it took a few weeks to get my shipping money up (haha!!), but i did. love my glasses. go see them here. you’ll love them too.

9) i’m blessed that even though my little family’s pickiness drives me absolutely insane neither of them like pumpkin flavored stuff. the smell of pumpkin pie, bread, cookies or whatever would be the death of me. especially since i ain’t feeling pumpkins right now.

10) i’m grateful for having cable tv and a dvr to record all of my reality shows in case i miss them. i realize this is really random and has absolutely nothing to do with pumpkins or seeing their silly faces at the grocery store the other day but it’s still so very true.